“THE CATEGORY IS….. MEXICO CITY”— Cultural and Gender Identity

“THE CATEGORY IS….. MEXICO CITY”

Cultural and Gender Identity

Amos Lassen

Revry’s newest original anthology docuseries, “The Category Is” explores how the vogueing scene and ballroom culture has evolved beyond New York City and shapes queer communities throughout the world. The first season, “The Category Is…. Mexico City”highlights the “House of Mamis” and examines themes of cultural and gender identity, LGBTQ discrimination in Latin America, and self-expression and advocacy through dance.  We get a look at the flourishing Mexico City ballroom scene, the episodes showcase a chosen family of dynamic queer performers including house mother, Mendoza; trans-activist, Negraconda; dance enthusiast and dreamer, Ponyboy; and more.

The show’s creators explain that voguing is something in the United States that feels exciting and something to marvel. The reality is that voguing “has always been raw and about family.” Traveling to Mexico City to film a voguing house that goes by the name of House of Mamis. It was inevitable that this story about these beautiful humans had to be told. “We both are Latinx filmmakers who have always been othered, yet we have a strong love for the Latina Mother and what she represents in a household.” So immediately, when they were invited into their spaces (the subculture), they were welcomed by the glue of the house, House Mother Mendoza, who has the holiness of a saint but the presence of a warrior. Crammed into a tiny apartment were 7-8 Mamis. Some were painting their nails, others were smoking by the window and a few were preparing food for the house. We saw a cozy ecosystem.

It is quickly apparent that Mexico City is truly a queer epicenter. In the America\ca, voguing is a sport, it is lucrative and sadly it is very binary. In Mexico. Young people leave their small towns and come to Mexico City to join houses and live authentically. There is no living to be made off voguing and drag. We see the young people here in brilliant spaces like museums and opera houses, places that once held the attention of kings and queens now give space to trans women and gay boys “that love a good heel.” It is the mission of the filmmakers with this series is to show how a group of very different people can come together and save each other, nurture one another’s talents and give them with something they never had, all  the while being authentic. Mexico City on the surface is very traditional and a proud place, but if you go looking down the smaller streets, you will find a familiar beat and extravagant dancing and mind blowing energy with faces of glitter welcoming you into some kind of paradise. 

 

 

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